Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok is often championed for the ways in which it adds some levity to Asgard and Chris Hemsworth’s performance, in particular, but the Aussie actor is quick to credit Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters for improving his ad-lib skills while in front of the cameras.
Chatting to Esquire (h/t Screen Rant), the Infinity War star spoke at length about his role as Kevin the receptionist, who worked under Feig’s quartet of female ‘Busters and arguably stole every scene he was in. And so, when the time came to film Ragnarok, Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi agreed to carry over that same performance, one which encouraged improv comedy and light-hearted silliness, into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
First up, here’s Hemsworth recalling his time on the set of Ghostbusters:
It was way more freeing and a lot more creatively satisfying, and just more enjoyable, you know? Because there’s a spontaneity that’s created that you just can’t get in a scripted scenario. Now I kind of want to put myself in a position where I feel like I’m right on the edge of getting it wrong and kind of not really knowing what’s happening—losing control of it—and I think that’s, to me, the key ingredient. You want to keep people guessing. You want to keep yourself guessing. That’s what I find is interesting to watch.
It certainly shows, too, as the Thor Odinson of The Dark World is worlds apart from the jovial, larger-than-life hero of Ragnarok. And Taika Waititi’s cosmic threequel is all the better for it.
Elsewhere in the interview, Chris Hemsworth pinpointed the moment when he flexed his comedic muscles for the MCU:
It does [happen on the Marvel sets.] From Thor 3, definitely, it became hugely improvised. And I’m so glad I’ve been able to work with Paul prior to that. And I’ve done Saturday Night Live a couple of times; I have a movie called Vacation. So by the time I got to Thor 3, I was incredibly enthusiastic to do it. Taika Waititi, the director, had the same opinion. And we carried that into Avengers.